"Required reading" for today's smart writer.

"Required reading" for today's smart writer.
Information & inspiration to hone your craft and increase your cash...Since 2009

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Discover the Joys of Journaling...

The other day, while watching one of my favorite cooking shows, a chef shared a rather unusual "technique" that he feels enhances his meal preparations.

Much to my surprise, this culinary cutie revealed that he keeps a Kitchen Journal where he records his experiences with new recipes, products, variations and substitutions on ingredients, and the results of general experimentation in his "kitchen laboratory" for future reference.

Novel idea, I thought to myself. I would imagine that it allows him to save time and be more strategic in his cooking approach.
Which got my thoughts to "brewing," in terms of the usefulness of journaling, particularly for today's writer.

For as long as I can remember, I have kept one off and on.
My stash is comprised of big ones, little ones, ones without locks, ones with, lined pages, blank pages...red, pink, yellow, blue, black, multi-colored...well, you get the idea here.

What I've discovered is, not only are journals great for chronicling matters of the heart, they're terrific for capturing emotional growth, spiritual struggles, childhood memories, future dreams, travel adventures, conversations, observations, quotes, and other slices of life. This can eventually morph into essays, articles, memoirs, poems, and other creative pieces. Which can ultimately get you published and paid!

And I should know. My journal "scribblings" have found their way into several chapters of Simon and Schuster's popular anthology for women, "Chocolate for a Woman's Heart," while others served as the foundation for columns, commentary pieces, and heartfelt letters.

How about you?

Here are a few different types of journals I've logged in and maintained over the years:
  • A Creative Journal--To brainstorm and outline ideas
  • A Financial Journal--To record writing expenses and spending patterns
  • A Blessings Journal--To remain mindful of all the positive aspects of my life
  • A Relationship Journal--To "listen" to my woes, and avoid becoming a nuisance to my friends, to record special memories, to laugh and cry on paper 
  • A Home Journal--To keep up with repairs and scheduled maintenance for things like the furnace, gutters, etc. and to document my experience with certain companies and service providers

Besides being therapeutic, journaling can help to shape and mature your writing, and combat periodic writer's block.

"Try it. You might like it."

Curious to know...

Do you journal?
Why or why not?
How does it enhance your creative process? Do tell...


  1. Like you, I journal off and on. The one I keep up with the most is a spiritual journal where I record scriptures, quotes, and thoughts that encourage my heart. I find writing them out helps me better retain them.

    I also keep running to-do and idea lists, that I now keep in a journal. This helps keep them compiled in one spot, versus post it notes or scraps of paper littering my desk. I love journals of all sorts, and have several waiting in the wings for their turn. :)

    1. Jennifer Brown BanksMay 18, 2015 at 5:16 AM

      We have that love in common. I am reminded of the beautiful one you sent me once. Thanks, Karen! :-)

  2. I actually have several types of dedicated (journal) notebooks because it helps to build a big self created source of inspiration that can help ignite many ideas for several types of writing as you can read about in a blog post titled:

    Keep Track of Your Ideas & Build
    Your own Source of Inspiration

    That's why on the - the Writer's Kit - page on my blog, you can find links to several things for note taking like for example;

    Note Pads, Note Takers, Tablets, Special Note Books for your specific note taking needs, like for example a special long-size Reporters Note Book etc. etc.

    1. Jennifer Brown BanksMay 18, 2015 at 5:17 AM

      Thanks for sharing, H.P.

  3. My original journal was a Bible School Project on the Gospel of John. I've been journaling ever since. It has yielded many great ideas for my writing, given me a better perspective on life, and helped me work through some difficult situations.

    1. Jennifer Brown BanksMay 18, 2015 at 5:18 AM

      ...My points exactly. :-) Great to hear from you today, Susan. :-)

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  5. Wow, Jen. You journal giant, you. I've always avoided journaling, thinking it had to be one monstrous thing. But you've given me some food for thought. Love your Relationship Journal where you can complain and avoid being a nuisance to your friends. LOL

    1. Sue,

      Don't know why, but this surprises me. Would have had you "pegged" as a gal who would journal. :-) Here's another bonus: though we may be "Forever 21" in our spirit, as we get older, the mind does not remember as much. True? A journal then becomes a "receptacle" for things we don't want to forget. Thanks for chiming in today. :-)